Hundreds walk through Perth Hills in annual Oxfam Trailwalker fundraiser

Kalamunda Bush Fire Brigade’s Reanne Jackson, Natalie Smailes, Shelley Slee and Bryan Martindale signed up for the Oxfam Trailwalker event.
Kalamunda Bush Fire Brigade’s Reanne Jackson, Natalie Smailes, Shelley Slee and Bryan Martindale signed up for the Oxfam Trailwalker event.

MORE than 600 people are taking part in the Oxfam Trailwalker Perth fundraising endurance challenge this weekend, with the first participants leaving Darlington this morning.

Teams of four have up to 48 hours to walk or run 100km over the weekend to raise funds for the charity’s work to tackle poverty worldwide.

Teams taking part in the 50km event will have 24 hours to complete the half-trail option, starting at Chidlow on Saturday morning and then finishing at Forrestfield on Sunday.

Roy Barton (76), pictured right with his Team 3 Gen Plus 1 teammates John O’Gorton, Adam Dolby and Emma Dolby, is the oldest participant this year.

Altogether, 628 walkers make up 157 teams taking part, and there will be more than 400 volunteers helping to ensure the event runs smoothly.

One of the teams, Team 3 Gen Plus 1, includes three generations of walkers, with Roy Barton (76) the oldest Perth participant this year.

He flew from England to complete the 100km trail with his daughter Emma Dolby, grandson Adam and a friend.

“It’s been about 55 years since I’ve walked this far, since I was at university so it’s a bit of a struggle,” Mr Barton said.

“I’ve been training in England – we have a similar railway heritage trail which I’ve been able to train on and we also have some better hills, a little bit steeper than the hills we have here on the course.

“It’s the amount of time on your feet, and with age, is the problem.

Participants started the Oxfam Trailwalker event in Darlington.

“Youngsters like Adam just turn up and do it – I’ve been training since this time last year.”

Four volunteers from the Kalamunda Bush Fire Brigade are taking part as team BFB A62 for the first time.

“I actually live on the trail and I’ve seen the walkers go past for years now so I’ve always wanted to do it and now I finally found the time to do it,” team leader Reanne Jackson (24) said.

“Then I ‘guilted’ all of these guys into doing it with me.”

Teammate Natalie Smailes said they knew parts of the trail well, particularly around checkpoint 7, near Zig-Zag Scenic Drive.

“We did most of our fundraising through friends and family, asking for donations, and the brigade members were generous,” she said.

The team’s strategy was to walk the whole way through the 100km trek instead of stopping for a sleep.